Understanding Those Annoying Permission Messages in Windows 10

By Andy Rathbone

After more than 20 years of development, Windows is still pretty naive. Sometimes when you run a program or try to change a setting on your PC, Windows 10 can’t tell whether you’re doing the work or a virus is trying to move in behind your back.

The Windows solution? When Windows 10 notices anybody (or anything) trying to change something that can potentially harm Windows or your PC, it darkens the screen and flashes a security message asking for permission.

Windows 10 warning
Click Don’t Install, Cancel, or No if a message like this appears unexpectedly.

If one of these User Account Control security messages appears out of the blue, Windows may be warning you about a bit of nastiness trying to sneak in. So click Cancel, No, or Don’t Install to deny it permission. But if you’re trying to install a trusted program onto your PC and Windows puts up its boxing gloves, click OK, Yes, or Install instead. Windows drops its guard and lets you in.

If you don’t hold an Administrator account, however, you can’t simply approve the deed. You must track down an Administrator account holder (usually the PC’s owner) and ask her to type her password.

Yes, a rather dimwitted security robot guards the front door to Windows, but it’s also an extra challenge for the people who write the viruses.